Campus News

Lyman T. Johnson Awards Luncheon set for Oct. 14

The 2019 Lyman T. Johnson Torch of Excellence and Torch Bearer award recipients. Pete Comparoni | UK Photo.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 6, 2022) — Join the Lyman T. Johnson African American Alumni Constituency Group and the Office for Institutional Diversity for an afternoon celebrating the 2021 and 2022 Lyman T. Johnson Torch of Excellence and Torch Bearer award recipients. The luncheon will take place at noon Friday, Oct. 14, in the Bill Gatton Student Center on UK’s campus.

The 2021 ceremony was postponed due to COVID-19 concerns, leading to the combined ceremony this year.  

More than 60 alumni and students will be honored during the 31st annual awards ceremony. The University of Kentucky's academic colleges and units select at least one Black alum whose faith, hard work and determination has positively affected the lives of people on the UK campus, the city, state or nation. These individuals receive the Lyman T. Johnson Torch of Excellence award. These colleges and units also select at least one Black student who displays outstanding academic achievement and the ability to impact the lives of others to receive the Lyman T. Johnson Torch Bearer award.

Tickets for the luncheon are $40 for individuals and $500 for a reserved table of eight and can be purchased by visiting

Lyman T. Johnson was a pioneer who challenged the status quo in his landmark court case which opened the University of Kentucky to Black students in 1949. He dedicated his life to fighting against segregation and racial inequalities in Kentucky. The Lyman T. Johnson African American Constituency Group established an endowed scholarship in his name to provide financial assistance to students of color in their pursuit of higher education.

The UK Alumni Association is committed to fostering lifelong engagement among alumni, friends, the association and the university. For more information about the UK Alumni Association, visit or call 800-269-2586.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.